Athletes, coaches and parents often wonder what the best way to treat an injury is. Some go with what feels good at the time, while others may blindly stick to one method to treat all injuries. The truth is that neither of these methods is especially beneficial to the athlete. Depending on how long the injury has been around and when it's being treated, you may be doing more harm than good!

The timing of the injury and treatment is key to the athlete receiving the most benefit from hot or cold therapy. For instance, heat is used to increase blood flow and tissue elasticity, but if it's used too early in the injury, it can cause an increase in swelling and delay the healing process. Read on to find out the best (and SAFEST) ways to use hot and cold therapies to your advantage!